Shot Scope’s new V3 GPS and performance-tracking watch is crammed full of new features.
By Tony Dear
Every so often, the latest hi-tech golf gadget shows up in the mail – be it a personal launch monitor, home simulator, GPS unit, laser rangefinder, performance-tracking device etc., and I’m blown away again.
Something of a low-tech, old-school, eyeballer, I generally prefer to play with a minimum of interruption, giving the shot a quick glance, picking a club, swinging away, and…probably missing the fairway or green again.
But when a fancy new device arrives and I get to test it for a few weeks, I generally leave the course amazed at what the absurdly clever people who dream these things up have managed to create this time.
A few weeks back, Shot Scope’s new V3 watch arrived from Edinburgh, Scotland where the firm is based, prompting me to hunt down my old V2. I say ‘old’, but the V2 appeared just three years ago. And Course Hub, the company’s terrific online tool that enabled V2 users to virtually join an unlimited number of golf clubs, view course stats, and compete in various competitions against other V2 users, launched this time last year.
It’s really impressive, then, just how much better the V3 is, and the enhancements are evident from the moment you open the box. The new model is significantly smaller (39mm x 34mm as opposed to 36mm x 59mm), thinner (10mm versus 14.4mm), and less cumbersome than its predecessor (21g lighter). No, you didn’t finish a round with the V2 gasping for breath with your watch arm drooping along the ground under its immense weight, but the difference is noticeable. There’s a 12 and 24-hour clock option, and the strap is removable allowing you to pick any of the five colors currently available.
Out on the course, the upgrades keep showing up. Where to start…the screen is color meaning bunkers and water are instantly identifiable. And it’s that much clearer, brighter, and easier to read no matter how dazzling the sun.
The dual-frequency GPS ensures distances to the front, middle, and back of the green are incredibly accurate—to within 30cm, in fact. Over 35,000 courses come pre-loaded so there’s no need to synch the watch and download the course you’re playing—not a major timesaver, but a timesaver nonetheless.
There’s no tagging necessary—just ensure the correct tracking tag is screwed into the corresponding club and the shot-tracking happens automatically. Shot Scope says V2 users can use their existing RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) tracking tags if they wish, but the V3 tags perform a little better. So why wouldn’t you swap them over?
The battery is improved—ten hours of life compared to the V2’s six—so it’s good for 36 holes. There are no subscriptions, and access to the phone app where you are able to analyze over 100 statistics from your round is free. And it’s less expensive than other GPS watches that don’t have the stat-tracking feature.
So stunning an improvement on its previous model is the new V3, you might assume Shot Scope would be done for a while. But tech never sleeps, of course, and Gavin Dear, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer, assures me new products are on the way. “We see numerous ways to develop,” says the former Lynn University, Scottish national, and Walker Cup golfer who tried the pro game for four years before trading his Tour card for the office. “We plan on bringing out new software early in 2021, and making sure we can help our golfers gain every possible insight into how they can improve. We think it will add huge benefits to our system.”
Dear can’t comment on the other products in the developmental stages just yet but they will, he insists, continue Shot Scope’s mission to build a community of golfers and help improve their games.
As for a V4, says Dear, that might be a few years off yet.
$180 (launch offer expires at the end of July – $220 thereafter).
The G3, the same as the V3 but without the stat-tracking capability, is $160 ($180 after launch offer ends).
Strap colors—black, grey, red, green, purple.
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